How Do We Update These Ideas?

A familiar symbol. Maybe that’s a problem?

My friend Gene recently wrote about the failure of imagination which progressives suffer from. His main point was that people who claim to be trying to radically change the world are attempting to do so with centuries-old ideas such as anarchism.

I admit that I felt targeted, because I’ve recently been reading more about anarchism and identifying with its ideas. But after I got out of my feelings for a moment, I realized that he was right. Understanding the ideas of the past is important, but that needs to be the starting point.

I even felt the same frustration during the four years of the Trump administration when his political opponents described him as a “fascist.” That idea doesn’t grapple with the digital component of power today- that a camera can point a missile at your house anywhere on the planet and you’d never see it coming. So no, Trump isn’t a fascist because he’s a citizen of the digital age. That also means I can’t actually be an anarchist.

So what am I then? I’m hesitant to start throwing around terms just to coin something, but Gene is right. We need new ideas, and words help to give those ideas tangibility. I’m going to think more about this, and hopefully have something useful to say soon.

One thought on “How Do We Update These Ideas?

  1. I just wanted to say that I wasn’t targeting you. You are honestly grappling with these ideas and the world as you see it. I’m bothered by the people who simply take the “radical” ideas on faith.

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